Simon Doonan

Admired as the longtime Creative Director of the department store chain Barneys New York — and as one of the fashion industry’s sharpest wits — Simon Doonan this month dons a genre tailor made for him: memoir.  In The Asylum, Doonan presents “a collage of couture reminiscences… and hysteria,” rich with hilarious and provocative insights into the clothing game and its most renowned moguls, designers, and gadflies.  The Asylum‘s sharp prose suggests that Doonan is also a savvy reader, as do his superb selections for this week’s edition of Guest Books, which he declares to be a trio of The Weirdest Books He’s Ever Read.

Appleby House
By Sylvia Smith

“This is the must hilariously mundane book I have ever read. In excruciating detail, Miss Smith describes time spent in a rooming house in London in the 80’s. The bickering and minutiae make it as compelling as War and Peace.”

The Slaves of Solitude
By Patrick Hamilton

“This might be the most dismal book ever written. Just when you think it cannot get any more depressing, something even more turgid happens. It’s also sad and beautifully written.”

The Girls of Slender Means
By Muriel Spark
“Spark’s novels are all pretty bitchy, but this just might take the cake. These girls might share a Schiaparelli dress… but when fire breaks out, it’s every bitch for herself.”